25 November 2011
At a press conference today five organizations of the survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal congratulated the Chief Minister for his strong assertions against sponsorship of Olympic Games by The Dow Chemical Company. The organizations condemned the continued silence of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Sports on this issue of national and international significance despite petitions from Indian Olympians and Bhopal survivors’ organizations.
The organizations expressed hope that the Chief Minister, in line with his convictions, will take steps to ensure that correct figures of deaths and injuries caused by the gas disaster in Bhopal are presented in the Supreme Court in the ongoing Curative Petition. They said that only this will ensure that Dow Chemical along with Union Carbide are made to pay adequate compensation for the disaster.
Currently the Government’s curative petition for compensation mentions 5295 deaths and categorizes 93 % of the victims as ‘temporarily injured’. The organizations stated that data from central government-run Indian Council of Medical Research and the state government-run gas relief hospitals show that the actual number of exposure-related deaths is close to 25, 000 and that the gas victims have been permanently, not temporarily, injured.
The organizations presented a copy of Union Carbide’s “Safety Considerations Report” that stated that the effects of MIC exposure may cause “major residual injury in spite of prompt treatment”. They pointed out that recent research by internationally reputed scientist Professor Srinivasamurthy, has established that 80 % of those with mental illness caused by the disaster have not recovered in the last 27 years.
According to the organizations the Government should be asking for Rs. 37 thousand crores (8.1 billion dollars) as compensation for the disaster on the basis of the corrected figures and not Rs. 3 to 6 thousand crores (630 million to 1.2 billion dollars) as it has currently done. They said that the Government is asking for so little that it looks like another sell-out to Union Carbide and Dow Chemical like the 1989 settlement.
The organizations said that they have had no response from the Government on their demand for correction of damage figures in the curative petition. They said that they are going ahead with their plan to stop all trains passing through Bhopal starting from December 3, 2011, the 27th anniversary of the disaster.
|Rashida Bi,Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh94256 88215||Nawab Khan,Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha9302792493||Balkrishna Namdeo,Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha9826345423||Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra,Bhopal Group for Information and Action9826167369||Safreen KhanChildren Against Dow Carbide9303831487|